Mobile Klinik: European smartphone repair franchise opens first Canadian store in Ottawa
A new high-tech franchise with backing from former Rogers and Wind executives is poised to shake up the cell phone repair market in Canada and will mark the official opening of its first retail location in Ottawa on Monday.
Former Wind Mobile CEO Ken Campbell, and former head of Rogers Communications’ wireless and cable divisions Rob Bruce, brought the Paris-based Point Service Mobile (PSM) chain to Canada under a new franchise agreement.
The former rivals teamed up as investors in the Canadian franchise, known as Mobile Klinik.
The stores offer repairs for cell phones in under 60 minutes for everything from cracked screens to water damage along with a 12-month warranty.
The Ottawa technicians finished training in France last month before the soft launch in the St. Laurent shopping centre last week.
Mayor Jim Watson and other business leaders will celebrate the official opening on Monday.
With more than 200 PSM locations across Europe, this marks the first foray into Canada.
There’s no shortage of cell phone repair shops in Ottawa, but the minds behind this new business are aiming to lure customers away from mom-and-pop shops to a recognizable brand. They also, like in the case of France’s PSM, aim to partner with manufactures like Samsung to offer official cell phone parts for repairs.
Youssef Botros, a former Wind employee, is the general manager of the first Mobile Klinik store. He said Ottawa was a calculated move to test the market in Canada.
“What we wanted to do is to make a name for ourselves in this business,” said Botros, who recently finished training in France and Germany this summer.
“These phones cost a thousand dollars now. It’s very expensive to buy another one if your screen breaks. We wanted to provide a service that’s convenient for customers and quick, and efficient, and professional.”
The glossy white interior of the Ottawa store looks like a corner slab of an Apple store; the front desk is as clean and crisp as Botros’ white lab coat.
“It’s like a real clinic,” he says, as his colleague Eric Zoreta works behind the counter on a phone with anti-static gloves.
Unique to the Ottawa store is a case station where shoppers can put a custom touch on their cellphone case.
The plan is to open 60 stores across Canada in the next three years.